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  1. #1
    Registered User redrum448's Avatar
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    Am I working out too much? I dont know WTF I am doing!?!?!

    So for an introduction I am 54 years old and have been working out for about 14 years. I am 6’3” 215lbs.

    No one has ever shown me what to do as I only workout from home with dumbbells and a bench and I learned proper procedure by watching thousands of youtube videos.

    My first 7 years I worked out every day and made good progress and got to where I wanted to be.

    For the last 7 or so years I only workout from Feb1st to June Then August – October which is right before I hit the beach twice a year. I have only been trying to firm up and maintain and I have always been satisfied with the results.

    Well this year I started mid January and I am trying to bulk up more but I am not really sure I am doing it correctly. I see all these videos on youtube about “7 min bicep workout” where they are doing about 7 sets total, which completely confuses me as I am doing 16-25sets per muscle group!!

    So for example heres what I am doing each week on a 4 day rotation and then repeated. (since mid-jan)
    Day 1 – Shoulders / legs
    Day 2- biceps / triceps
    Day 3- Chest/ back
    Day 4- Run on treadmill to build endurance
    Day 5- 8 - repeat

    So I am usually doing about 16-25 sets per muscle group and am doing reps till failure then rest 30sec -1min and doing another set (to failure)
    Example of Biceps workout (triceps are mixed in but lets just go over biceps)

    1 – warmup with about 12-16 reps to failure of slightly lesser weight
    2 – 1 set of 21s (7 curls half way up, 7 full curls, 7 from halfway up to shoulders)
    3- 4 sets where I hold my left dumbbell half way and curl my right dumbbell 4 times, then reverse (8curls total each set)
    4- 4 sets Hammer curls with max weight, usually about 6 curls each to failure
    5- 1 dropset starting with 45s doing about 5 reps, then 40lbs doing 5 reps, then 35lbs doing 5 reps all the way down to 15lbs (this and the 21s give me the biggest pump)
    6 – 4-6 sets of seated incline dumbbell curls to failure with about 30sec rest between
    7 – 1 set of 21s again
    8 – 4 -6sets of holding the dumbbell halfway with 1 hand and doing 4 curls with other hand (8 curls per hand)
    9- 2 sets of slightly higher weight where I do curls across my body (seems to help with bicep width from what Ive read)
    10- 2-4sets of seated concentration curls

    So am i wasting my time here and only need to do 7min workouts? Im confused
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    There's a world of programming out there between 7 min bodypart workouts and doing everything under the sun 1x/week.
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  3. #3
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    No, ignore hype like "7 minute workouts". They are probably trying to sell you something or get you to click on advertising links because they make money from it.

    You will tend to need at least 8-12 hard sets for each body part per week. It's also probably better if you split that up so that you train each bodypart more than once a week or you are basically resting far too long.

    Why not try a ready made routine which will have all the knowledge and experience of the person that wrote it built in to it. We have a few in the sticky threads at the top of the forum.
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  4. #4
    Registered User redrum448's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    No, ignore hype like "7 minute workouts". They are probably trying to sell you something or get you to click on advertising links because they make money from it.

    You will tend to need at least 8-12 hard sets for each body part per week. It's also probably better if you split that up so that you train each bodypart more than once a week or you are basically resting far too long.

    Why not try a ready made routine which will have all the knowledge and experience of the person that wrote it built in to it. We have a few in the sticky threads at the top of the forum.
    No I am basically working out twice per muscle group every 8 days, sorry if I wasnt clear.

    But according to you I am doing 2x the sets I need to? so 8-12 sets to failure is fine?

    thanks!
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  5. #5
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redrum448 View Post
    No I am basically working out twice per muscle group every 8 days, sorry if I wasnt clear.

    But according to you I am doing 2x the sets I need to? so 8-12 sets to failure is fine?

    thanks!
    Ah OK, didn't read it properly

    The thing about volume is that you tend to adapt to it... if you were to reduce your volume now, you'd probably stall. Next time you have a layoff, try coming back from it with lower volume - and only add more when you need it in order to keep progression going.

    Also, don't take too many sets to failure. It has a knock on effect which can make your later sets less effective because you'd already fried your ability to exert peak force. Maybe keep 1-3 reps in the tank each set, you might find that you get less rep drop between sets - and more total effective workload.
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 04-21-2021 at 08:03 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User redrum448's Avatar
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    Thanks, and to answer your question before most if not all of those programs listed have deadlifts, squats , etc listed and I have difficulty doing those because of my knees and back so I avoid them
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redrum448 View Post
    Thanks, and to answer your question before most if not all of those programs listed have deadlifts, squats , etc listed and I have difficulty doing those because of my knees and back so I avoid them
    What are your problems with knees and back? In many cases, muscle related problems can be fixed using correct exercises. Better to have all round movement and ability if possible, especially as we get older!
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  8. #8
    Registered User redrum448's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    What are your problems with knees and back? In many cases, muscle related problems can be fixed using correct exercises. Better to have all round movement and ability if possible, especially as we get older!
    30 year old lower back sensitivity where if I pick up something the wrong way it "throws it out" and hurts for a couple days. To be honest it hasnt hurt in at least 6 months but Im always weary of putting stress on it.

    Knees are hereditary (both my parents had their knees replaced). They give me slight pain occasionally just walking up stairs. I had them xrayd and the doctor said they were "pristine" though (which is good news).

    The other day I was doing leg extentions and they were crackling lol, but I fought through the minor pain.
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  9. #9
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    The problem here is what is “too much” for one person may not be for another, etc. This is a HUGE problem in the fitness / bodybuilding industry in my honest opinion is people comparing themselves to others and trying to create some sort of volume standard as for what is considered too much. This is a highly individual thing.

    It isn’t cut and dry in the sense that there is a specific number of sets that would be considered too much for everyone, because individual volume requirements and preferences is going to vary from person to person.

    You shouldn’t compare what you’re doing to someone else. Figure out how much volume produces the results you are looking for while also allowing you to recover and start with that.
    - Your mindset influences your outcome. It's time to take out phrases like "I can't" or "I don't have time" and replace them with phrases like "I will make the time" and "I will keep working at it until I find a way that works." Success starts with the right mindset and believing in yourself and your dreams.
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  10. #10
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redrum448 View Post
    30 year old lower back sensitivity where if I pick up something the wrong way it "throws it out" and hurts for a couple days. To be honest it hasnt hurt in at least 6 months but Im always weary of putting stress on it.

    Knees are hereditary (both my parents had their knees replaced). They give me slight pain occasionally just walking up stairs. I had them xrayd and the doctor said they were "pristine" though (which is good news).

    The other day I was doing leg extentions and they were crackling lol, but I fought through the minor pain.
    You sound like a candidate for improvement using the correct exercises then...

    Vulnerable muscles can spasm when they are overtaxed. This is because they are weak and contain trigger points. Both of these issues can be addressed by correct application of strength training. In the case of lower back for example, I would recommend doing hyperextensions and learning to do Romanian deadlift properly without using excessive weight at first. Eric Helms and Alan Thrall have good tutorial videos on RDL. Perhaps add the hip abduction machine to this too.

    Knees is a similar story. You need to learn to squat to full depth training your quadricep through the maximum possible range of motion including the more difficult part right at the bottom. Aim to improve your range of motion if you are currently limited - it's not set in stone, it can progressively be improved in almost all cases.

    You can build up to these slowly without ego lifting. You can use machines in addition (but not instead of) the main lifts I've mentioned. For example, you can do leg press machine but set it up so that your knees get as close to your chest as possible at the bottom.

    I too have had back, hip and knee problems (I've had knee surgery to remove most of the cartilage in my left knee) and the right kind of resistance training has only helped.
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  11. #11
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redrum448 View Post
    Example of Biceps workout
    Weird. Usually the example is chest. Good show, I guess.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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